School Tomorrow *crying*

My two week vacation is over. I did make the most of it though so I’m happy about that. This past week I mainly just hung out with my host family. I went to a cool carnival thing in the city where everyone was dressed up all crazy with Faustine and a few of her friends. It was very entertaining! I also went into the city to meet up with three other exchange students for lunch and that was very fun! I also tried a bit of the McDonalds. They said it was better in France than in the United States. I wonder if they’ve ever had it in the United States because from what I could taste it was still just a cheap, gross burger. Not gonna eat there again. That’s one frustrating thing about eating out here with friends. So many of my friends wants to go to Dominos or some restraint that they have in the United States, like KFC, that’s pretty big here, too. It’s not that hard of a situation to get out of, though. Friday when I went out with my exchange friends we went to go eat kebab (not sure how to spell it) and it is something none of us had in our home countries. I am so eating there again because it was very good! I love trying new food, at least once! I’m not sure the next time I’ll be able to go out though because we have seven weeks of school and I’m pretty sure we don’t have so much as a three day weekend.  I’m not very much looking forward to the cold, early mornings and the long boring classes. The only reason I am looking forward to school is because that is where I learn and practice my french the most, and the school lunches are really good. Also, I’ve made some friends at school that I haven’t seen this vacation so I’m looking forward to talking with them again. I’m excited that my french is improving, but I still have a long way to go, here is for everyone who asks me how my french is coming along (I wrote this when I was bored in class a few weeks ago): It’s weird, learning French outside my actual French class back in the States. In the classroom your improvement is documented in how well you do on your homework and tests. Learning a language by everyday, all day, total immersion is a little bit hard to document. I try to write down the new words I learn but every week or so, my speaking is getting faster, more correct and more confident. It’s more learning new phrases than words, and sometimes I’ll know how to say a word or phrase but I won’t know how to spell it or sometimes I won’t even know the exact translation so I just won’t write it down. There is no one moment I look back on and remember where I improved on my reading or speaking. I am not fluent by any means but I can understand a more simple conversation when people speak slower, and I can also hear each individual word even when people speak fast. I usually don’t understand what they are saying because it’s just too fast, but when I first came here when people talked it was just a jumble of noises. So theres an improvement! I’ve almost been here two months and I can’t really remember the specific time when I improved. All I can tell you is that I remember how awful my french was when I got here and I know my skills now at this moment. Every exchange kid you talk to will tell you about the same thing. About the three month mark is when you’ll be able to understand most of the speaking and reading and then after that your speaking and writing will improve faster than ever, usually by (at the very least) the five month mark. There is no one day when you say to yourself, “Everything clicked! I’m fluent now!” I looked up the definition of fluency in a language and basically you have to be able to speak correctly and without hesitation. That will come to me definitely by the time I get back home but I still will make mistakes and I will not know every word in the dictionary. I don’t know if I ever will become, what I see as, truly fluent, to where people wouldn’t even know french wasn’t your native language. So here is my answer in short: Everyday I am growing. Every week I am improving. For me personally, I don’t know when basic fluency will come. Hopefully in these next few months. Even if I’m not truly fluent, that doesn’t mean I won’t be able to have a good conversation with a french speaking person and that also doesn’t mean I wont be pretty good at speaking french by the time I get back this summer. I’m excited to talk to the people I know who I can practice my french with. Even though I am loving it here more and more with every passing week, I can’t wait for next summer!

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